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I=repa,rocL for tli.s CeleTsxation. en 
tlie cccasioxi. of tla.e 

November 17th, 1879, 


SA-IwitXJjBCaL. S. r^'R.Tr! -ft; t .T^-y ^ ^ 

i I 

; BENJ-Ais^iiv :f. a3DA3s^s, |^ . Committee. 

Pnisb or Inockmli. Baos., 17c 



Unity Church 


Unity Church sprang from the urgent desire on the part of 
those members of the First Unitarian Church and Society of 
Chicago, who lived in the North Division of the City, to have a 
church near their own homes. 

The force and reasonableness of this desire were cordially ad- 
mitted by the members of the First Church ; and largely through 
the representations of the late Artemas Carter, the principle was 
adopted by that church, that the property owned by it was a trust 
held for the spread of Unitarian Christianity,- to be equitabl)- 
divided between itself and new churches in the North and West 
Divisions, if such should be founded within a reasonable period. 

The property consisted of an eighty-feet lot on Washington 
street, between Clark and Dearborn Streets, the site of the 
wooden church, which was soon after destroyed by fire ; and it 
was voted, at a meeting of the Society, held April 27th, 1857, that 
one-quarter of this k)t should be given to a church in the North 
Division, one-quarter to a church in the West Division, half 
being retained for the use of the mother church. Messrs. E. K. 
Rogers, Artemas Carter, Jerome Heecher and Josiah L. James, 
were made a committee to arrange the details of the division. 

These preliminaries having been settled, a meeting of the re- 
tiring members, living on the North Side, was held on May llth. 
1857, in the office of the late William M. Larrabee, Treasurer of 
the Galena and Chicago Railroad, who was also a withdrawing 
member of the First Church. A list of persons present at this 
meeting, fortunately preserved from destruction by the great fire 
of 1S71, shows the following names : Benjamin F. Adams, Wil- 
liam M. Larrabee, Eli Bates, Nathan Mears, Gilbert Hubbard. 
Samuel S. Greeley, William H. Claike, Capt. Samuel Johnson, 
Benjamin F. James, Samuel C. Clarke, Henry Tucker, George 
Watson, Augustus H. Burley and Edward K. Rogers. 

It is believed that, at this meeting, it was definitely voted to 
organize a church, and a cpmmittee, whose names are not now 
recalled, was appointed to draft a constitution. 

Other meetings were held from time to time, and on Decem- 
ber 23rd, 1857, the constitution was adopted, the name "Unity 
Church," a happy suggestion of Mr. James, fixed upon, and the 
first board of officers elected, namely : Trustees, William M. Lar- 
rabee, Benjamin F. Adams, Benjamin F. James ; Secretary, 
Samuel S. Greeley ; Treasurer, . 

A quarter of the old church lot on Washington street, being 
the east 20 feet of lot 7, block 38, original Town of Chicago, was 
conveyed to the Trustees of Unity Church, according to the above 
vote, on June 25th, 185S. 

And so began our existence as a property-owning corporation. 
Business meetings were held from time to time at the house of 
Mr. Bates, and elsewhere. But it was not until the following 
spring that our active life as a Christian Church began. Then 
the little wooden Baptist Church, of about a hundred and fifty 
Christian power, on the corner of Dearborn and Ohio Streets, was 
rented for use on Sunday afternoon, and Mr. Robert Collyer, who 
was in the service of the First Church as its minister at large, 
was engaged to preach to the new born church for a few months, 
till a permanent minister could be settled ; and h& preached his 
first sermon on the last Sunday in May, 1859. Mr. Collyer writes 
to the committee, that his text was Rev. xxii, 17, and that the 
sermon was a stupid one. 

Some of us, whose heads now bear the frosts of early winter, 
but who were then overflowing with youthful enthusiasm for the 

new enterprise, still remember how our feeling of anxious respon- 
sibility for the initial effort of an unknown man, gave way, first 
to relief, then to surprise, and finally to joyful certainty that the 
"hour and the man" had come, and that a new moral force had 
suddenly risen among us ; that an unheralded champion had 
stepped into the lists with level lance, to offer wager of battle 
for mental and spiritual freedom. 

Our enthusiasm gave us little rest. A subscription was 
started, locations were canvassed, plans approved, and on Au- 
gust 20th, of the same year, the lot on the northeast corner of 
Chicago Avenue and Dearborn Street (lot 15 of block 1, Bush- 
nell's addition to Chicago) was bought, and construction at 
once undertaken. Our first Board of Trustees, Messrs. Adams. 
Larrabee and James, elected in 1S57, held over, and through their 
energy and wise economy, our house was ready for use before 
the end of the same year, with about 45* ' sittings, and costing 
the modest sum of $4,0U<». 

It was dedicated amidst the furious cold and snow of Christmas 
eve of 1859, Rev. Dr. Hosmer, of Buffalo, preaching the sermon. 
Of this period, Mr. CoUyer writes : " I was anxious then to be 
free from the work of preacher to you, and have you call some 
well accredited man, and sent in a letter urging this step ; but 
you said the church had been built for me to preach in, and I 
must take the office. I was, therefore, called in the regular way, 
and accepted the call, but never was installed, as I had never 
been ordained ; " and as if to remind us how entirely we had 
broken from bondage to the "letter which killeth," he adds: 
•* Nobody thought of it, and I didn't care to push it before you. I 
was recognized and welcomed by the Unitarian bod}' in a special 
service held during the sitting of the Western Conference at Mil- 
waukee, in June, lSo9, and this was as near as I ever came to an 
ordination in any sense." Unity Church must be forgiven, if in its 
youthful haste to begin its work for humanity, it entirely forgot 
to perform the ceremony which the Christian world has, time 
out of mind, held to be the decent and fitting prelude to the 
union of a pastor with his people. 

For a few months, perhaps, for the first year. Mr. Collyer's labors 
and his salary were shared by us with the ministry at large, but 
as we became stronger, and were able to pay our way, the work 

of the ministry at larj^^e fell to other hands, and Mr. Collyer de- 
voted himself to his church. It was the day of small things. Our 
annual deficit of two hundred dollars or so, seemed as frightful to 
us as the deficit which dragged down France to a bloody revo- 
lution and her king to the scaffold ; but we paid it like little men, 
at the end of each year, and plunged recklessly into a new debt 
for the next year. Our church was our home, and the tones of 
its sweet singer still vibrate in memory like whispered music of 
other spheres. 

We once tried to write out some simple form of creed, to the 
service of which such property as the society might own, should 
be formally surrendered, but our belief was too inclusive to be 
imprisoned in words, and we gave it up. 

The one point on which we all agreed, was that all might differ. 

The constitution of the Society, as amended April 11th, 1870, 
states "that the object of this Society is to promote moral and 
spiritual improvement and the practice of the principles of Chris- 
tianity, while disseminating the truth and doctrines of religion 
in accordance with the Unitarian faith." 

Probably no copy of the original constitution, adopted in 1857, 
has escaped destruction, but it is believed that it differed only in 
certain details, making the tenure of membership more explicit, 
from the constitution of 1870, a printed copy of which is in the 
hands of the trustees. 

No other statement of the articles of belief of Unity Church, 
nor of its definition of the Unitarian faith, has ever been made. 

When the war of the rebellion broke out, we sang "America" 
together in a storm of sobs and cheers, and then pastor and peo- 
ple settled down to do their share of work for our country and 
her soldiers. Our young men started to the front at President 
Lincoln's first call ; our minister went to nurse and comfort the 
sick and wounded at Fort Donelson and on the Potomac; the 
sisters of the church were instant in the prayer of tender ser- 
vice at the soldiers' rest and the hospitals, and in the Sanitary 

Their names and good deeds rise as a cloud of fragrant incense 
from the altar of the Fatherland. 

In December, 1866, was formed the " Liberal Christian League," 
a society composed mainly of members of Unity Church Society, 

Mr. Collyer beint^ the President, having in view the judicious re- 
lief of poverty, and also the study of various plans of social re- 
form. Careful reports were made, upon improved dwellings for 
the poor, the care of friendless women, the prevention of cholera, 
and lectures and entertainments at low prices for the masses. 

In April, 18()7. the League resolved, that in their opinion " lib- 
eral preaching on Sunday evenings in some central hall in this 
city, under the auspices of this League, would tend largely to 
advance one of the principal objects which it was organized 
to promote." The expenses were to be met by voluntary 
offerings. Ten gentlemen, viz : Benj. F. Adams, James P. Fogg, 
C. J. Hull, Josiah L. Lombard, William G. Lewis, James H. Moore, 
Samuel Shackford, James Brooks, George Ti. Adams and Edwin 
Lee Brown guaranteed any deficiency in means that might occur. 
The details of the work were managed most successfully by 
Messrs. J. P. Fogg and George H. Gushing. 

Library Hall was engaged for the purpose, and Mr. Collyer, 
with some aid from Rev. Dr. Ryder and Rev. Robert Laird Col- 
lier, preached on Sunday evenings through the winter to full and 
interested audiences, largely composed of young men and of per- 
sons not connected with any church. 

Liberal thought thus found its way to great masses, with whom 
there was no other channel of communication. These meetings 
were conducted with all the enthusiasm of a genuine revival. 

The Liberal League was soon after merged in the Chicago 
Christian Union, a society having the same objects in view, but 
composed of the "liberal Christians of Chicago," and which for 
several years held important rank among the missionary and 
charitable agencies of the city. 

Through the storms of war and the sunshine of returning peace, 
our society still grew, till it became a question how to find room 
for the increasing congregation. 

In 1866 Mr. Collyer made his first visit to his Yorkshire home, 
and it was voted to take advantage of the long vacation to enlarge 
our church by adding awing on each side. But "exceeding 
peace had made our people bold," and when the money was to 
be provided, it was found that our capitalists were strongly in 
favor of abandoning the site which we had outgrown, and build- 
ing a large and permanent house. The apparent prosperity of 

the times made great undertakings seem easy, and it was soon 
decided to buy the lot, which we now occupy, and to procure 
plans and estimates for a stone church to cost not more than 

A building committee was appointed, consisting of Messrs. Gil- 
bert Hubbard, Eli Bates, Nathan Mears, William G. Lewis, 
George Chambers, George Webster and Harry Fox. 

As Mr. Chambers, of the committee, was a builder of the highest 
repute, it was decided to have the masonry done by the day, 
under his superintendence. 

The corner stone was laid on August 29th, 1867, with appro- 
priate ceremonies. The history of the construction is best told 
by Messrs. Joseph H. Moore, John E. Fry and Thomas S. Wallin, 
Trustees from 1867 to 1870, in their Annual Report of April 
11th, 1870, as follows : 

"A loan of $50,000 was effected from Mrs. Greene, and another 
of $15,000 from Artemas Carter, Treasurer of Antioch College, 
the proceeds of both of which were turned over to the Build- 
ing Committee by the Trustees, bearing interest at ten per cent, 
per annum, and secured upon the property of the Society. 

"Our first report was during the occupancy of the old church 
building, which gave accommodation to about four hundred 
hearers. The end of the second year found the Society in the 
lecture room of the new church, and enabled to give sittings to 
seven hundred. Shortly after our last annual meeting, the So- 
ciety took full possession of the new church edifice, and on the 
20th of June, 1869, the dedication services were held. Dr. Bel- 
lows, of New York, preaching the sermon. We can now seat 
about twelve hundred, with capacity for two or three hundred 
more, by special effort. The financial exhibit will show a corre- 
sponding progress and success. 

" The annual report of two years ago shows a total annual rev- 
enue from all sources of $6,056. One year ago there was re- 
ported from the same sources $7,463. Our income for the 
past year from the same sources has been $16,071:. Vet this 
is but a small portion of the whole result in the way of raising 
means during the past year. Added thereto is the munificent 
offcrini^f of dedication day, footing up nearly $60,000, most of 
which has been paid ; also, cash paid in this year for account ot 

new organ, say, $10,000, making a total sum of about $80,000, 
which Unity Church has furnished for church purposes during 
the past fiscal year. 

" In reviewing the history of its success, we believe the Society 
will consider it eminently just and proper that we should place 
upon its records our testimony and belief, that first among the 
agencies which have contributed to this great result, are the in- 
fluence and example of our first and only pastor, and the beloved 
friend of us all, Robert Collyer." 

Appended to the report from which the above extracts are 
taken, I find the following : 

" I want to make a note or two to this report : 

'' First— To say how sincerely grateful I feel to this outgoing 
Board of Trustees for the faithfulness with which its whole busi- 
ness has been conducted through the long term of three years, 
and through a period of extraordinary care and labor. 

" Second — -To Mr. George Chambers, who built the walls of our 
new church as carefully as if he were building a house that should 
stand good for many generations after he is dead and gone, and 
then gave the whole compensation that should come to him, 
amounting to §5,000 to the church, with a generous subscription 

" Third — To my people, who have so nobly subscribed to this 
noble enterprise and made it their pride and joy to do so — men, 
women and children. 

" May God bless them for all their work and labor of love. 
" Robert Collyer, 

" Pastor of Unity Church." 

The total cost of the church, including ground, edifice, furnish- 
ing and organ, appears from the accounts of that time to have 
been $210,000. 

The Chicago Avenue lot, with the wooden church, was con- 
veyed, October 19th, ISGT, to the North Baptist Church, for 

Our enjoyment of our new and costly temple was short. The 
Dth of October, 1871, witnessed its destruction and the ruin of 
the homes of most of its worshippers. Only the massive walls 
and towers stood as monuments to the good faith which had gone 
to its building. 

On a Sunday, shortly after the great fire, a handful of people 
stood among the ruins listening to comfortable words from the 
pastor, and pledging themselves to each other that Unity Church 
should rise again. 

Men dazed and blinded b)- the suddenness of the disaster, 
could not at once see the resources which were left to them ; 
they could only feel the needs of the hour and grope their way to- 
ward supplying them. How magnificently the country and the 
world answered the first shuddering cry for help from the home- 
less thousands, we may now recall in grateful silence. 

To our sister churches throughout the country, it seemed of 
the first importance that Unity Church should be replaced, and 
its influence maintained in this great city. And it was apparent 
that this could not be done for some years, by men who had a city 
to rebuild and its business affairs to reinstate. 

The American Unitarian Association therefore undertook to 
raise subscriptions, with the help of appeals from Mr. Collyer, 
during the year 1872, with the understanding that half the sum 
so received should be devoted to Unity Church. A friend in 
Boston generous!}- provided for Mr. CoUyer's salary for the year. 
The result was a donation, principally from the Unitarians of 
New England, of $59,887 to this Society. 

At a meeting of the Society held in the Third Unitarian 
Church, on January 8th, 1872, it was voted to rebuild Unity 
Church on its former site, and a building committee was ap- 
pointed, consisting of Nathan Mears, Henry T. Thompson, 
Thomas S. Wallin, William C. Dow and Edward I. Tinkham, who 
at once began active operations in reconstruction. 

During the rebuilding, services were held in a temporary 
wooden building, which had been hastily erected by our neigh- 
bors of the New England Church, and was most kindly offered 
to us for use on Sunday afternoons. 

Services were resumed in the lecture room of the church during 
the winter of 1872-3, and on Sunday, December 7th, 1873, the 
house was dedicated, and the auditorium occupied for the first 
time. Dr. Furness, of Philadelphia, preached this, our third, 
dedication sermon. The total cost of reconstruction, including 
the organ, appears to have been $91,737. 

At the annual meeting held March ^-JOtli, 1ST4, it was, on mo- 
tion of Mr. Collyer, resolved, "that the jijrateful thanks of this 
church be hereby g^iven to the Building Committee : Nathan 
Mears, Henry T. Thompson, Thomas S. Wallin, William C. Dow 
and Kdward I. Tinkham, for its faithful and devoted service ; 
that the vote be recorded in the ' Church Book.' and that a com- 
mittee be chosen to prepare an address, which shall be engrossed 
on parchment, and a copy, signed by the Committee, presented 
to each member of the Building Committee, for preservation by 
their families, including one for the family of our beloved brother, 
E. 1. Tinkham, now gone to his rest." 

And so began, in the deepening shadows of the year ISTH. the 
third era of our history as a Christian Church ; a beginning grim 
with widespread commercial wreck, and individual suffering and 
privation, more depressing than the black clouds of war, because 
defeat was never relieved by alternating victor)-. In those days 
it was never "quiet on the Potomac," and no sunlit peak of 
Lookout Mountain pierced the gloom that brooded over the val- 
ley of despair. 

The new debt incurred so hopefully the year before, in the 
finishing of our house, then loomed up lik^the shadow of coming 
ruin, and the stroke that warned our Trustees to pay the semi- 
annual interest, sounded like the measured pealing of a passing 

On October 27th, 1874-, a new loan was voted, of $30,(>U(i. for 
five years, to take up the remains of past indebtedness, and from 
that time forward the Society bent its energies anew to the pay- 
ment of its current expenses and its interests. The increasing 
cheerfulness of the annual reports, from this time forward, testi- 
fies to the courage and "clear grit" of our officers. 

The admirable report of Messrs. Felix, Thompson and Adams, 
in March, 1877, says: "It is well known that the loss sustained 
by this Society in consequence of the great fire consisted, not so 
much in the destruction of church property, as in the destruction 
of the business and the homes of a large majority of its mem- 

♦Note. The following detailed statement of the private losses sustained by indi 
vidual members of Unity Church congregation may, we think, be very properly given 
here as confirming the statement of the Trustees in their report quoted above. They 
are the result of very laborious and careful inquiry, made during the winter of 1871 2. 


"As each year since then has shown an increase in the popula- 
tion of the North Side, so each year has shown an increase in the 
revenues of the church. Considering the difficulties which the 
Society has had to contend with, arising out of the financial dis- 
tress of the whole country since 1S73, we have reason to con- 
gratulate ourselves, and to believe that the next few years will 
show a still greater improvement in the material condition of 
the Society." 

Meanwhile your hands were not idle, nor your feet weary. The 
Ladies' Sewing Society and the Unity Church Fraternity, were 
active in raising money for church purposes, and in the work of 
outside charity. The Sunday School was large and well trained, 
and gave useful instruction to many children, who were gathered 
from outside the church. 

At a meeting of the Sewing Society, held in February, 1876, 
originated the thought of the " Unity Church Industrial School," 
for the training in habits of order and industry of young girls in 
the poorest quarter of the city. It was to replace the Sewing 
School, which had been kept weekly for several years, and was 
to offer daily instruction in sewing and household work, close by 
the homes of its pupils-. 

A small one-story frame building was rented on Larrabee 
Street, and fitted with such stove and furniture as friends could 
give, and there the directresses of this modest, but most useful 
of charities have labored and still labor, with heroic endurance 
of fatigue and discomfort. In such works this humble school 
house has received a consecration holier than pomp of priestly 
sacrifice could confer. 

At the annual meeting of the Society, held March 31st, 1879, 
as the time was approaching for paying the loan of November, 
1874, a committee was appointed, consisting of Edward Black- 
by Mr. Henry T. Thompson, then, as now, a Trustee of the church. "There were at 
the time of the fire, 170 pew holders, of whom 136 were housekeepers, and 34 were 
boarding. Of the 136 housekeepers, .56 owned their houses, which were burned ; 15 
owned their houses, whicli were not burned; 56 lived in rented houses, which were 
burned ; and 9 lived in rented houses, not burned ; 152 persons had their places of 
business destroyed, including clerks, whose employers' places of business were burned ; 
115 lost both their homes and places of business by the fire. There were only 9 of the 
whole number of pewholders who entirely escaped direct loss. The aggregate direct 
loss by individual members, is stated at $2,350,200." 

man, B. F. Felix and j. C. Brooks, to arrange for paying or re- 
funding the funded debt of the Society. Mr. Felix, upon whom 
fell the active labor of the committee, addressed himself to the 
task of getting subscriptions for the payment of the debt. 

In May the Society was startled by the sudden resignation by 
Mr. Collyer of his pastorate, to accept a call from the Church of 
the Messiah, in New York. 

So long and so pleasant a union could not be broken without 
great pain on both sides. Mr. Collyer was then the oldest 
settled pastor in the City, having completed his twentieth year 
of labor with us. The necessity of the change seemed impera- 
tive to him, and when on June 2;^rd, 1879, the resignation was 
accepted, the general sentiment of the Society seemed to be that 
Unity Church had a life of its own which might not, and could 
not be seriously disturbed by the loss of its pastor. 

" Men may come and men may go, but I go on forever." 

Aided by this conviction, the work of subscription went on the 
more bravely, and the debt was paid at its maturity on the first 
of the current month. To the persistent six months' work of 
Mr. Felix, more than to any other agency, is the success of the 
movem.ent due. 

During eight of the ten years since 1870, Mr. Henry T. Thomp- 
son has served this church as Trustee, with a devotion and self- 
sacrifice, that place him highest among her benefactors. Many 
have given of their means, he has given himself 

We have met to-night to celebrate our emancipation from the 
thraldom of debt. Our mortgages are released, our notes are 
cancelled, and no man can lay a creditor's hand upon this prop- 
erty, which now first really belongs to that service, to which we 
undertook to dedicate it ten years ago. 

For this let us rejoice and give thanks ! But may we venture 
to declare that we still owe a debt as sacred as that just paid .'' 
Its evidences are recorded only in the registry of deeds of grace 
and good will. Many of our creditors are unknown to us, and all 
are beyond the reach of individual repayment. 

But we shall never earn the world's receipt in full, nor the 
quittance of our own consciences, till we have freely given in 
some form or other, to the common cause, which we and our 

Eastern benefactors hold dear, the full amount which they con- 
tributed, in our disaster, to rebuild Unity Church. 

The committee to whom was entrusted the preparation of this 
sketch, have attempted to give a complete list of the officers of 
the church from its foundation to the present time. In the ab- 
sence of all records prior to October, 1871, this has proved a more 
difficult task than it first appeared. 

In the following list, the names given for the years 1857, 1858, 
1859, are correct. We can learn nothing as to the officers for the 
years 1860, 18r)l. As to the years 1862 to 1866 inclusive, there 
is some conflicting evidence, but the list as given is believed to 
be, in the main, correct. 

For and after the year 1867 the list has been compiled from 
authentic sources, and is known to be correct. 

Samuel S. Greeley, j 

Benjamin F. Adams, v Committee. 

William G. Lewis, ) 

List of officers of Unity Church, elected December 28rd, 1857 : 

William M. Larrabee, ) 
Benjamin F. Adams, '- Trustees, 
Benjamin ¥. James, ' 

Samuel S. Greeley. Secretary. 
, Treasurer. 


William M. Larrabee, ) 
Benjamin F". Adams, [-Trustees. 
Bentamin F. James, ) 
Frank W. Buckingham, Secretary. 
Nathan Mears, Treasurer. 


William M. Larrabee, ) 
Benjamin F. Adams, [-Trustees. 
Benjamin F. James, ) 

Edward L. Holmes, Secretary. 
Henry Tucker, Treasurer. 



1 T 

Gilbert Hubbard, ) 

William G. Lewis, -Trustees. 

John S. Brewer. \ 

KdwarI) L. Holmes, Secretary. 
J. Thomas Carter, Treasurer. 

Gilbert Hubbard, i 

William G. Lewis, -Trustees. 

John S. Brewer, \ 

Edward L. Holmes, Secretary. 
Charles H. RoCtERs, Treasurer. 

James P. Fogg, j 

George H. Gushing, V Trustees. 
George Webster, ) 

Edward L. Holmes, Secretary. 
C. J. HamblETON, I'reasurer. 

George A. Wheeler, j 
Joseph H. Moore, -Trustees. 

Horace S. Nichols, 1 

Edward L. Holmes, Secretary. 
C. J. Hambleton, Treasurer. 

James H. Moore, | 

C. J. Hambleton. -Trustees. 

C. O. Thompson, \ 

Edward L. Holmes, Secretary. 
J. LelaND F-OGG. Treasurer. 

Joseph H. Moore. j 

John E. Fry, v Trustees. 

Thomas S. Wallin. ) 

Edward L. Holmes, Secretary. 
William E. Furness, Treasurer. 

Joseph H. Moore. ) 

John E. Fry, V Trustees. 

Thomas S. Wallin, \ 

Edward I,. Holmes, Secretary. 
Willi A.\i E. Furness, Treasurer. 

Joseph H. Moore, 
John E. Fry, )> Trustees. 

Thomas S. Wallin, 

Edward L. Holmes, Secretary 
William E. Furness, Treasurer. 
George A. Wheeler, ) 
D. F. Baxter, V Trustees. 

Henry T. Thompson, ) 

George E. Adams, Secretary. 
William Eliot Furness, Treasurer. 
Nathan Mears, ) 

John E. Fry, V Trustees. 

Henry T. Thompson, ) 

George E. Adams, Secretary. 
William Eliot Furness, Treasurer, 
Nathan Mears, ) 

John E. Fry, y Trustees. 

Henry T. Thompson, ) 

George E. Adams, Secretary. 
William Eliot Furness, Treasurer. 
Nathan Mears, ) 

John E. Fry, V Trustees. 

Henry T. Thompson, ) 

Henry Hooper, Secretary. 
Samuel Collyer, Treasurer. 

Joel D. Harvey, ) 

Porter P. Heywood, >■ Trustees. 
John Wilkinson, ) 

Henry Hooper, Secretary. 
Dudley P. Wilkinson, Treasurer. 
Porter P. Heywood, ) 
George Payson, V Trustees. 

Amory Bigelow, ) 

Henry Hooper, Secretary. 
Dudley P. Wilkinson, Treasurer. 



George E. Adams, ) 

HpNRY T. Thompson. V Trustees 

Benjamin F. Felix. ) 

Edgar Holt, Secretary. 
John S. Brewkr. Treasurer. 


CtEorge E. Adams, j 

Henry T. Thompson, >■ Trustees, 

Benjamin F. Felix, \ 

F^DGAR Holt, Secretary 
John S. Brewer, Treasurer. 


Eli Bates, j 

Henry T. Thompson, - Trustees. 

R. W. Hosmer, ^ 

Edgar Holt. Secretary. 
John S. Brewer. Treasurer. 


Henry T. Thompson, ) 

N. H. Barnes. - Trustees. 

William Beye, ^ 

E. L. Talbot, Secretary 
John S. Brewer, Treasurer. 

-T) ^t? i^'lL'if' 



Unity Church 


Wl-'., the members of a Religious Society, known as Umtv Church, 
and located in the North Division of the City of Chicago, do 
hereby adopt the following Constitution : 

The name f)f this Societv hhall ho IMiv Cm.Kcii. 


The object of this Society is to promote moral and spiiilual improvement, and the 
practice of the principles of Christianity, while di.^^ cmillalill^^ the Uuths a nd doctrii 
of religion in accordance with llic Unitarian failh. 






/ * 



Any person renting a pew , or part of a pew, to the amount of one-third thereof, 
and having been in possession of the same for not less than three months, and who 
shall be approved by a majority of the members present at any business meeting of the 
Society, and who shall sign the Constitution, shall be deemed a member of Unity 
Church ; Provided, that any member who shall be in arrears of pew-rent for the period 
four quarters, shall forfeit his membership ; and provided, further, that any person 
may withdraw from memljership by notifying the Secretary, in writing, of his desire to 
do so. The cessation of membership is to be noted in every case by the Secretary, 
opposite the name of the member, in the record book of the Society. 


The officers of the Society shall consist of three Trustees, a Secretary and a Treas- 
urer, to be chosen by ballot at each annual meeting of the Society. A majority of 
all the votes cast shall be required to elect, and each officer so elected shall hold his 
office for one year, or till his successor is chosen. .Any officer, however, may be re- 
moved by a vote of two-thirds of all the meml)ers of the Society. 


The dut)- of providing a place of worship, and procuring the services of a Pastor, 
shall devi'lve upon the Trustees, subject to the action of the Society. But no change 
of Pastor shall be made except by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the Society. 


The care and control of all the property of the Society, both real and personal, 
shall be with the Trustees. But the affirmative vote or written consent of all the mem- 
bers of the Society shall be required to effect the purchase, sale, incumbrance or other 
disposition of the real estate. 


Any of these articles except the first, may be changed at any regular meeting of 
the Society, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members of the Society, the vote thereon 
being given in person or by proxy, and the said change having been proposed at a 
previous meeting. 


This Constitution shall be in force on and after the twelfth day of April, A. D. 



Skction I. rhe Trustees alone shall make contracts or engagements binding 
upon the Society, unless a vote of the Society shall otherwise direct. 

Sec. 2. They shall fix the rental of the pews and rent the same, and report each 
rental to the Secretary. 

Sf.C. 3. They shall approve all bills before bi-ing paid by the Treasurer, and 
countersign all checks upon which money is to be drawn from the bank, but may dele- 
gate this duty to one of their number. They shall audit the Treasurer's account, and 
make a detailed report of the affairs of the Society at each annual meeting. .\nd they 
shall so order and conduct the affairs of the Society as best to promote the objects of 
this organization, as set forth in the Constitution. 


Skc. 1. The Secretary shall notify all meetings of the Society, when required to 
do so by those having authority to call them. He shall attend the same, and keep a 
full and correct record of the proceedings thereof. He shall hold secure all papers and 
documents belonging to the Society which may come into his hands, and conduct its 
correspondence, as direcle<i by the 'Trustees (-r a vote of the Society. 

Sec. -\ He shall make out the bills for pew-rents, and deliver the same to the 
Treasurer for collection. 

Sec. 3. He shall keep a list of the pew-holders, alphabetically arranged, and 
also a correct record of the members of the Society. And he shall present at each 
meeting of the Society the names of those eligible to membership. His recurd.'> shall 
at all times be open to the inspection of any member who may desire it. 


Sec. I 'The 'Treasurer shall have the custody of all the funds nf the Society, and 
hold the same for disbursement. It shall be his duty, under the direction of the Trus- 
tees, to collect the rentals, subscriptions, and other incomes of the Society, and de- 
posit the same in such bank as they may designate, to the credit of himself as Treas- 
urer of I'nity Church. 

Si;c. 2. He shall pay all bills approved by the Trustees, but no money shall be 
drawn from the bank by him until the check is countersigned by at least one of the 
Trusteo. He shall keep a correct account of all receipts and expenditures, with 
vouchers for all payments made. His books shall be open at all times to inspection 
by the Trustees, and he shall make a detailed report to them in such form as tht-y may 
direct, at the close of each fiscal year, and at such other times as they or the ?>ociety 
may desire. 


In case of vacancy in any office by removal, resignation, or death, the vacancy 
may be filled at a special meeting called for the purpose, the objeet of said meeting 
being staled in ihe call. 

.\RT1CJ.K V. 

Pewrents shall be due and payable quarterly in advance, .on the first day ol April, 
|uly, October and January of eacli year. And in case the rent of any pew for two 
quarters shall be due and unpaid, tlie Trustees may at their option declare the pew 
vacant and rent the same anew. 


The annua! meeting of tlie Society shall l)e held on the last Monday ol March of 
ach year. 


Special meetings may be called by the Trustees, or by ten members of the Society, 
if the vvi-itten request of that number to the Trustees for a meeting shall not be com- 
plied with for the space of two days, or if the Trustees are absent, or if the offices of 
the Trustees shall be vacant. 


Notice of special meetings shall be given from the pulpit at the Sunday morning 
service next preceding the meeting, and be published in one morning and one evening 
Chicago English daily paper, on the day of the meeting ; or notice of said meetings 
may be given by publishing the same twice in such papers on consecutive days, the 
last publications to be on the day of the meeting. 


Fifteen members shall be required to form a quorum at all meetings of the So- 
ciety. At such meetings the chairman of the Trustees shall pre side, or in his absence 
the next in order of record. 


Any of these articles may be changed at any regular meeting of the Society, by a 
vote of three-fourths of all the members present, the change having been proposed at 
a previous meeting. 




Constitution of [Jnity Church. 

Submitied by Mr. T. F. W/ THROW. 

Substitute for the Third Article the foHowing : 

Any person who has habitually attended the services of the Church 
for a period of six months, and has a right to occupy a seat therein, 
either by lease from the Society or by license from a lessee, may, upon 
being approved in writing by at least five members of the Society, be ad- 
mitted to membership, by the vote of a majority of the members present 
at any regular meeting. 

Any person thus admitted, shall, upon si,u:ning this Constitution, be 
admitted to all of the privileges of membership. 
Membership may be forfeited : 
First. By resignation. 

Second. By refusal, for six months alter demand, to pay any indebt- 
edness due to the Society. 

Third. By conduct inconsistent with a character for integrity and 

Resignation shall take eUVct, upon the receipt by the Secretary of 
notice thereof, in writing, signed by the member resigning. Forfeiture, 
for either of the other causes named, shall not become operative, until 
directed by a vote of the Society, at a regular meeting, held after the 
accused has had a reasonable opportunity to be heard. 


Substitute for the Fourth Article, the following : 

Propositions relating to the settlement or dismissal ol a Pastor, or the 
creation of a lien or incumbrance upon the property of the Societv, shall 


be determined by vote of the Society in regular meeting; and upon such 
questions members shall be entitled to vote upon the basis of seats in the 
Church by them held, the rental for which shall have been paid for the 
year then last past, as follows : 

First. Each member, who is not the head of a family, one vote for 
each seat, not exceeding two in number. 

Second. Each member who is the head of a family, one vote for each 
seat held for the use of such family, not exceeding six in number ; pro- 
vided, that when the family consists, in whole or in part, of a husband and 
his wife, both being members, each shall be entitled to a number of votes 
equal to one-lialf of the number of seats so held. 

Upon all other questions each member is entitled to one vote. 

Each member may cast the number of votes to which he or she is en- 
titled, in person, or by proxy duly authorized in writing. 


Substitute for the Fifth Article, the following : 

The officers of the Society shall consist of three Trustees, a Secretary 
and a Treasurer, who shall be elected annually, by ballot. 

The Trustees shall have the general management of the property and 
affairs oi the Society, subject to the By-Laws and such orders as may be 
made, from time to time, by the Society. 

The Secretary and Treasurer shall perform such duties as shall be pre- 
scribed by the By-Laws. 

Officers can be elected onl\- by a majority of the vot-s cast at a regular 
meeting, and can be removed only by a two-thirds vote of all the members 
of the Societv. 


Substitute for the Sixth Article, the following : 

A Pastor can be settled or removed only under authority of a resolution 
passed at a regular meeting, by a majority of two-thirds of all the votes 
cast, as provided in the first clause of the Third Article. 

The property of the Church can be encumbered only when authorized 
by a resolution, passed at a regular meeting, by a majority of four fifths of 
all the votes cast, as provided in said clause and Article. 





Adopt the following as 


The religious, charitable, educational, social and literary work of the 
Society, shall be under the general direction of the Trustees, assisted by 
the following Standing Committees, which shall be appointed by the 
Trustees : 

First. Committee on Music. 

Second. Committee on General Charities. 

Third. Committee on Industrial School. 

Fourth. Committee on Social and Literary E.xercises. 

The Committee on Industrial "School shall consist of nine persons, and 
ma\' divide itself into sub-committees. 

All t)ther Committees shall consist of three persons each. 


Change the numb^M- of Article X to XL 

Amendment to the Constitution, proposed by Mr. H. H. Thomas. 
In place of .\rticie III, insert the-loUowing : 


• Every adult person who has rented a sitting, or for whom a sitting has 
been rented, and who lias occupietl tiie same for the space of tliree months, 
and who shall have signed the Constitution, shall be considered a member 
of this Society, and entitled to a voie at all meetings of the Society : 
Provided, that any member who shall be in arrears of pew rent for the 
period of tour quarters, shall forfeit his membership ; and provided, further, 
that any ijerson may withdraw from membership by notifying the Secre- 
tary, in writing, of his desire to do so. The cessation of membership is 
to be noteti in every case by the Secretary, opposite the name of the 
memlier, in the record book of the Society. 

SfP 1 ^ 1§S4.